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Removing the necessity for Card Farms

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Flanderlion
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Removing the necessity for Card Farms

Postby Flanderlion » Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:33 pm

This is from Codger's thread here:

Thought it was better from Fris's feedback and the last reply date to make a new one for this. Feel free to merge it back in if necessary.

The Problem:

To generate card packs, you have a small chance of generating a card pack for each issue you answer. Your nation only gains 4 issues a day, so to gain more packs, players have created puppet nations that exist to generate issues, that they then answer those issues to generate card packs. Each card pack has a small chance of getting a legendary, so to increase their chances of getting a legendary card, they answer as many issues on as many nations as they can. Players have hundreds or thousands of nations to answer issues on, and they put these in either existing regions, or their card farm regions. These nations and regions have grown in number and size, leading to many of the largest regions in NS (by raw nation count) being card farm regions.

This was made apparent to all NSers when the Best Nation Game was first trialed for April Fools 2021. The sheer number of puppets both made it more difficult for the game to calculate the best nation (as it required multiple comparisons to begin to weed out the worse ones and make the better ones appear more frequently), and made players less interested in playing (as no one wants to be comparing Card Farm XII to Womble 2537). The game, if enough comparisons were made, would have weeded out the card farms in time, but there was not that opportunity as the sheer number of card farms overwhelmed it.

Season 3, if it came out tomorrow, would be filled with mostly card farm nations, as they take up a large proportion of the total nations in the game. Instead of nations, the cards you picked from a pack would likely be 'Card Farm XI' and 'Womble 2781'.

To answer issues as fast as possible (so they can gain more packs in the same amount of time), they generally pick the first option (or randomly sometimes). The sheer number of issues answered for card packs has resulted in the statistics of who picked what option in each issue being warped dramatically. These statistics pre card farms were used by the Issue Editors to balance issues. If one issue option was picked far more/far less than the other options, they would look at the issue, and nerf/buff it so the issue was more of a dilemma rather than having a right/wrong answer. Issue Editors have since said that due this, they are unable to use this, and have to rely on other means to balance issues.

1. Issue statistics have become muddied, decreasing the quality of issues for all players.
2. The game has to process thousands of unnecessary regions and nations, decreasing performance and increasing server costs. If these nations were not required to be competitive in cards, many major card farmers have both onsite (past thread) and offsite said they would let most of them CTE. Also logging in/out of multiple nations rapidly taxes the servers more than normal activity.
3. Season 3 would be made primarily of card farms, which are not interesting to collect. The average nation would be less likely to get interesting cards from their packs.
4. The Best Nation Game did not successfully run due to puppets for AF 2021.


The Solution:

Decouple the generation of card packs with issues, and use the Best Nation Game instead. Reinstate the Best Nation Game - generating packs at a fast rate, slightly decrease the chance of receiving a pack from an issueand giving packs to voters at the end of a WA vote. So instead of answering an issue to have a chance of generating a card pack, you answer a comparison between two nations. Once you answer that (no matter your choice), you have a small chance of generating a pack on your nation. If card farmers picked randomly, or only left (or right, or neither), over time their votes would negate each other (as there is a 50/50 chance of each nation in a comparison being on the left or right). But if they picked accurately, the game would have more information and the estimation of each nations worth would be improved. Unlike with issues, if they pick without thinking there is no negative result.

1. With issues no longer providing packs when answering an issue being the fastest way to generate packs, there will be far less of an incentive to randomly choose options in an issue in the interest of speed. This will mean the issue option statistics will become useful again (as no more pollution from card farms), and issues will be able to be tweaked as necessary, as it will be visible again for Issue Editors. This will hopefully result in better issues for all players.

2. Having the ability to answer unlimited comparisons (and therefore packs) on a single nation means the need for other farming nations is radically reduced (tens for deck capacity rather than hundreds/thousands). Most large farmers have indicated that they will let the unneeded nations CTE - leading to less unnecessary nations reducing normal players performance and hopefully making NS cheaper to run (so the resources can be invested elsewhere to improve NS). Players would not need to login and out of large numbers of card farms. This would again help the servers.

3. A few months after this change, S3 would be able to be created, and the intent of this change is that the majority of card farms would have CTEd by then, dramatically reducing the number of puppet cards in S3. This will increase the average quality of cards in S3 with the removal of thousands of cards that otherwise would have existed with default flags and bad names (as the card farms would have CTEd).

4. We would finally be able to see the Best Nation Game in the form it was intended in, and allow the persuasion/drama/bribery for the honour of being the regions best/worst nation (and the worlds). More comparisons would be made, making the game more accurate. More comparisons would also help by reducing the frequency of 'bad' nations appearing, as admin said that nations that are consistently not picked appear less often. In the AF event though, there were too many nations and too few comparisons, but here there will be more comparisons and less nations.

Please note: This would not change the frequency/value of the cards in each pack. Packs would behave exactly like now, just instead of answering an issue to get a pack, you'd answer a comparison.

--

Additions after feedback

At the end of each WA vote - all voters that are still in the WA at the time of the vote ending get one pack added to their nation - this is to both incentivise voting, highlight cards to those who don't answer issues, and to make the average nation better off by this change. Having the issue frequency of packs decreased to 0.05 per issue and giving one per WA resolution puts the average player ahead every 4 days (2.4 vs 2.8 packs every 4 days). -- This is removed again due to contradictory feedback/complexity.

Also the unopened pack limit should be removed (to allow pull events etc. to continue as normal, so players don't need to use 500 nations to store their packs for pull events like present).

Nations should be added to the pool of possible nations to compare once they opt in (probably by doing a single comparison) and removed from the comparison pool on CTE. If they refound, their comparison value should have been saved, and either they either opt in again to the pool again, or they are automatically added to the comparison pool again on refounding.

Things needing specific feedback:

-Probability of each comparison generating a pack - as it should be roughly equivalent to an hour card farming to an hour answering comparisons.

-Whether packs held by a nation need to be infinite (and if so with a new season should packs be reset/only usable for the prior season). This has also changed as pull events aren't a thing now.

-Should there be a time limit between answering comparisons. Some have suggested none, others 1s, or 5s, but it can't be longer than that, as at that point it's faster to switch to another nation and answer there (negating part of the reason for the change).

-Should packs be generated in addition by WA resolutions/still by issues/by random pages on NS? If so, the best way to generate cards should be still the best nation game (ensured by rate limit and unlimited packs being held by a nation) otherwise the change is moot if farmers find another way more efficient.

Other minigame options
Trivia - Fris has ruled that out here. Also I would've been against anyway.
Random pages - too gameable by just having a script doing things.
Something tied to stats - easily gameable, as scripts had advanced to the point where you can legally bot to #1 on the leaderboards for a specific stat.
Challenge - is tied to stats, so same issues as above. Also is way more resource intensive as needs to load each nation, and get each stat from both nations.

Edit: Added on 'Things needing specific feedback'
Edit 2: Added on time limit bits.
Edit 3: Added on WA/normal pages/issues
Edit 4: Reworked - instead of changing, adding two different ways of gaining cards but ensuring BN is the superior option for farming, as there were genuine concerns about existing players being disadvantaged/harder for new players to find the game.
Edit 5: Added other minigame bit.
Edit 6: Added nations opting in to the best nation game to avoid useless puppets being added in without intention.
Edit 7: Took WA out again, and edited parts to reflect pull events aren't a thing.
Last edited by Flanderlion on Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:01 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Refuge Isle
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Postby Refuge Isle » Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:45 pm

Comprehensive and articulately stated, I completely support this.

The current spawn rates for packs are 20% for each issue, and each issue is on a six hour cooldown, so it might be worth decreasing the chance of pack generation somewhat on an instant-reload type system, but likely admin can find a good balance there.
Last edited by Refuge Isle on Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Python
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Postby The Python » Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:56 pm

Full support on this idea now. However, there should be a cooldown imo; for example, you can only answer one per say 5 seconds.

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Grand Lore
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Re: Card Farms Impacting Gameplay

Postby Grand Lore » Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:59 pm

@OP This sounds like a great proposition. Thanks for suggesting it! (Python's suggestion is excellent as well.) How can we bump it to the mods?

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Postby Arpasia » Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:00 pm

I can sense L Kuan Yew to come to this thread....
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Postby Galiantus III » Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:09 pm

Great proposal. Very thorough analysis.
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Postby USS Monitor » Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:25 pm

This idea certainly has potential.
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Postby SherpDaWerp » Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:43 am

Flanderlion wrote:no one wants to be comparing Card Farm XII to Womble 2537

Several large puppet series are not cards-based, including the Wombles you mention. It is extremely unlikely that these puppets would disappear; leaving a significant number of puppets still out there for the best nation game. (And arguably, puppets that are less interesting, given card puppets actually answer issues and thus have different stats.) It's possible that the incentive of "get cards" will overcome the drudgery of having to deal with those puppets, but otherwise, they will still be a thorn in the side of anyone who actually wants to participate in the Best Nation game.

Flanderlion wrote:take up a large proportion of the total nations in the game

I've also heard it suggested that the inflated nation count will lead to more legendary cards, thus making it a good thing. Perhaps, for S3, a fixed-cutoff for card rarities could be considered, instead of percentage-based? (i.e. in past seasons, the sum total of a nation's "cool stuff" like c/c's, 1% badges, and authorships was calculated, and then the highest ~0.1% become "Legendary", ~1% become "Epic", etc. Under this, provided you have... 100 "points" worth of "cool stuff", you become Legendary, 80 "points" for Epic, etc.) This is completely out-of-scope for this specific change, but something to be considered in the slightly longer-run.

Flanderlion wrote:Also logging in/out of multiple nations rapidly taxes the servers more than normal activity.

[speculation, cause idk what the specific loads were] While it was running, the Best Nation game could easily have generated more effort for the server than logins and answering issues. Often, while answering, the server would fail to keep up with generating new matches at the same pace that the user was clicking, leading to delays and/or "invalid matches" being generated.

Although, if this is the case, it could be mitigated by the much slower pace of constant, low-energy pace of everyday "farming" in comparison to the much more fast-paced interaction generated by an April Fools' event, and also compensated by the lower number of nations to process at daily updates. [/speculation]

Flanderlion wrote:(tens for deck capacity rather than hundreds/thousands)

Deck cap is an underrated concern in your post. In at least one instance (TNP's Card Farmer <x> puppets), having thousands of puppets allows them to store significant numbers of low-value or otherwise non-collectable cards that are funneled into a giveaway program - which has been largely popular and helpful for the community. There are plenty of other threads out there complaining about or suggesting other approaches to deck cap costs, which should be considered if high-level Cards play is to be "condensed" towards having one nation rather than many.

Generally, though, I would support this change in whatever form it ends up being.

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Flanderlion
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Postby Flanderlion » Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:16 am

SherpDaWerp wrote:
Flanderlion wrote:no one wants to be comparing Card Farm XII to Womble 2537

Several large puppet series are not cards-based, including the Wombles you mention. It is extremely unlikely that these puppets would disappear; leaving a significant number of puppets still out there for the best nation game. (And arguably, puppets that are less interesting, given card puppets actually answer issues and thus have different stats.) It's possible that the incentive of "get cards" will overcome the drudgery of having to deal with those puppets, but otherwise, they will still be a thorn in the side of anyone who actually wants to participate in the Best Nation game.

True. I did know Womble wasn't card based pre this, just wanted a large puppet set that didn't sound the same as an example and it was the first that came to my head. The players creating thousands of puppets not for GP or cards, but just cos is something I don't think will be addressed by this threads change. That's a moderation (or more likely admin) decision on whether they want people having that many nations. Either way though, card farms as a group are the largest group of puppets (hundreds on average held by a high double digit number of players) vs the couple of players with thousands unrelated to cards. I don't think a tech change is desirable for the non card group, as it feels more of a moderation decision than something to be coded. So agreed that the Womble's etc. will continue to be an issue, just they aren't the intended group as they don't have the nations for card farming.

SherpDaWerp wrote:
Flanderlion wrote:take up a large proportion of the total nations in the game

I've also heard it suggested that the inflated nation count will lead to more legendary cards, thus making it a good thing. Perhaps, for S3, a fixed-cutoff for card rarities could be considered, instead of percentage-based? (i.e. in past seasons, the sum total of a nation's "cool stuff" like c/c's, 1% badges, and authorships was calculated, and then the highest ~0.1% become "Legendary", ~1% become "Epic", etc. Under this, provided you have... 100 "points" worth of "cool stuff", you become Legendary, 80 "points" for Epic, etc.) This is completely out-of-scope for this specific change, but something to be considered in the slightly longer-run.


Out of scope as that's S3 etc. - but does it not make legendaries more special if there are less of them?

SherpDaWerp wrote:
Flanderlion wrote:(tens for deck capacity rather than hundreds/thousands)

Deck cap is an underrated concern in your post. In at least one instance (TNP's Card Farmer <x> puppets), having thousands of puppets allows them to store significant numbers of low-value or otherwise non-collectable cards that are funneled into a giveaway program - which has been largely popular and helpful for the community. There are plenty of other threads out there complaining about or suggesting other approaches to deck cap costs, which should be considered if high-level Cards play is to be "condensed" towards having one nation rather than many.

Generally, though, I would support this change in whatever form it ends up being.

I do think deck cap costs/the way its treated should be reworked. From a personal view, the cards that I gain from packs are mostly melted down to buy more deck upgrades, which might be intended behaviour, but isn't the most enjoyable for someone who just participates with cards on one nation. Either way though, this thread is less about changing cards as much as preserving it almost as is while removing the negative aspects that hurt the rest of the game.

--

Refuge Isle wrote:Comprehensive and articulately stated, I completely support this.

The current spawn rates for packs are 20% for each issue, and each issue is on a six hour cooldown, so it might be worth decreasing the chance of pack generation somewhat on an instant-reload type system, but likely admin can find a good balance there.

It's less about the issue cooldown per individual nation, and more how fast they can switch and generate packs across multiple nations. As farmers create the hundred/thousand farms so they avoid the limit (I know you know, just writing it for whoever else backlogs it). Edited OP to highlight the need to figure out the spawn rates.

The Python wrote:Full support on this idea now. However, there should be a cooldown imo; for example, you can only answer one per say 5 seconds.

We discussed offsite, 5 seconds might be too long as you can switch in that time to another nation and answer, which would mean players would keep the card farming nations as the most efficient way to farm would still involve switching. 1 or 2 seconds is better, as I agree that you shouldn't be able to spam click before you even see the comparisons, but we don't want it to be so extreme that it negates one of the points of the change. Edited OP to highlight the need to figure if/what the cooldown should be.

--

Also offsite highlighted max packs being held by a nation shouldn't remain at 10, as otherwise there is still the rationale that for pull events it is better to have a lot of nations. I think there must be a reason for a max packs a nation can hold, but I'm unsure what it is/whether the limit is worth keeping. For a new season, sure, you want everyone to be on a level playing field then, but in general I don't see a reason for having a limit. Edited OP to highlight the need to figure this bit out as well.
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Durm
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Postby Durm » Fri Aug 20, 2021 7:55 am

Just leave the puppets alone. They did nothing wrong.
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Postby The H Corporation » Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:01 am

Hmmmm I can agree with this
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Postby Wapistan » Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:03 am

The Python wrote:Full support on this idea now. However, there should be a cooldown imo; for example, you can only answer one per say 5 seconds.

I dont think card farms should be banned, but yes. there should be a cooldown of like, 5-30 seconds per issue

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Postby Frisbeeteria » Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:04 am

Durm wrote:Just leave the puppets alone. They did nothing wrong.

Obviously this won't impact R/D puppets, and players are still allowed to have massive puppet farms (like yours, of course). That said, they DID do something wrong in terms of altering issue stats in an unbalanced way, as well as taxing server capacity.

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Postby Haganham » Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:14 am

I'm not sure if this is thee best solution(I was gone for the best region event, but I agree that something has to be done about card farming puppets.

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Durm wrote:Just leave the puppets alone. They did nothing wrong.

Obviously this won't impact R/D puppets, and players are still allowed to have massive puppet farms (like yours, of course). That said, they DID do something wrong in terms of altering issue stats in an unbalanced way, as well as taxing server capacity.

don't forget halving the effectiveness of recruitment campaigns.
Last edited by Haganham on Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Frisbeeteria » Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:22 am

Haganham wrote:don't forget halving the effectiveness of recruitment campaigns.

From 0.5% to 0.25%? I honestly believe there is not a solution to the recruitment problem. People are typically reluctant, indifferent, and/or unwilling to move based on recruitment. The percentage effectiveness will forever be tiny.

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Postby Wymondham » Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:26 am

Very much in favour of this
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Postby Comfed » Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:46 pm

Full support on this idea.
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Postby Haganham » Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:54 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Haganham wrote:don't forget halving the effectiveness of recruitment campaigns.

From 0.5% to 0.25%? I honestly believe there is not a solution to the recruitment problem. People are typically reluctant, indifferent, and/or unwilling to move based on recruitment. The percentage effectiveness will forever be tiny.

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Haganham wrote:don't forget halving the effectiveness of recruitment campaigns.

From 0.5% to 0.25%? I honestly believe there is not a solution to the recruitment problem. People are typically reluctant, indifferent, and/or unwilling to move based on recruitment. The percentage effectiveness will forever be tiny
terrible argument. a change from .5% to .25% is a huge difference. That's an addional 200 telegrams needed for each recruit. The smaller the original percentage the greater the number of telegrams a percentage change represents.

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Postby Comfed » Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:57 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Haganham wrote:don't forget halving the effectiveness of recruitment campaigns.

From 0.5% to 0.25%? I honestly believe there is not a solution to the recruitment problem. People are typically reluctant, indifferent, and/or unwilling to move based on recruitment. The percentage effectiveness will forever be tiny.

That's a massive change. It means one has to spend twice the time for the same number of recruits. It means one has to spend twice the money on stamps. And the percentage effectiveness has historically been much bigger.
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Postby Card Vault » Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:13 pm

One of the reasons why I stopped card farming was because of the headache involved with switching between puppet accounts. I would often log into NationStates intending to just play the game normally only to have to log out of Card Funnel 7. This would help a lot.
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Postby One Small Island » Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:29 pm

Full support for this, just as when Codger suggested it during the AF event.

Even if the cooldown is 5s, and someone can switch and compare every .5s that would mean their card farm would be about 10 nations; in total... which is insanely better than what is needed now.
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Postby Doge Land » Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:30 pm

Clarification: I support the removal of cards from issues, but I don't support connecting it to the best nation game or even bringing back the best nation game at all. I just got a little carried away here.

Okay, let me see... so, we're taking cards and untying it from issues, and then reconnecting it with a shitty april fools game (No offense to the devs, but it wasn't really that good)?

I don't see a solution here. Sure, it might remove the necessity for card farms, and then this entire solution gets nuked once that guy asks for a private command to do these best nation answers. Also, it's really primitive but couldn't you just setup a bunch of containers and bypass the throttle as suggested by Python?

Also im gonna be honest this screams "I don't want to setup Got Issues and let it run in the background for an hour, so I'm going to ruin it for everyone else."

Now I might support this if it wasn't tied to the lazy april fools game. I'm gonna be honest, the only good thing to come out of that event was potential designs for S3 cards. Maybe this could be tied to something else; I remember there was one suggestion from I think it was the cards discord server where someone said you have a chance of getting a pack of cards when you open a NS page. Now that would get rid of puppets.

And who cares if S3 is flooded with puppets? So is S2. That's why we have pull events, and giveaways, and card lotteries. Participate in one of those!
Last edited by Doge Land on Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Comfed » Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:47 pm

Doge Land wrote:Okay, let me see... so, we're taking cards and untying it from issues, and then reconnecting it with a shitty april fools game (No offense to the devs, but it wasn't really that good)?

I don't see a solution here. Sure, it might remove the necessity for card farms, and then this entire solution gets nuked once that guy asks for a private command to do these best nation answers. Also, it's really primitive but couldn't you just setup a bunch of containers and bypass the throttle as suggested by Python?

Also im gonna be honest this screams "I don't want to setup Got Issues and let it run in the background for an hour, so I'm going to ruin it for everyone else."

Now I might support this if it wasn't tied to the lazy april fools game. I'm gonna be honest, the only good thing to come out of that event was potential designs for S3 cards. Maybe this could be tied to something else; I remember there was one suggestion from I think it was the cards discord server where someone said you have a chance of getting a pack of cards when you open a NS page. Now that would get rid of puppets.

And who cares if S3 is flooded with puppets? So is S2. That's why we have pull events, and giveaways, and card lotteries. Participate in one of those!

Running puppets is a massive headache, especially for people with a slow computer. And s3 being filled with puppets ruins the value of the cards as nice to look at. "Oh look, here's my collection of Card farmer 22, card farmer 55, card farmer 66... yay..."
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, everybody dies.
Lord Dominator wrote:
10000 Islands Foreign Affairs wrote:~The population of 10000 Islands suffered a huge increase
I mean, if it’s that terrible I’m sure someone else will take them…

Frenchy: grub would be so proud knowing his descendants are the best raiders of their time and they’re queer

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Destructive Government Economic System
Minister
 
Posts: 3387
Founded: Jun 15, 2017
Corporate Police State

Postby Destructive Government Economic System » Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:56 pm

This is an interesting idea.

I know that at least a few issues editors don't like the massive amount of random issues-answering data generated from card farming puppets, so I think an alternative would be cool.

...I guess the question is if/when this change will actually occur. It doesn't sound bad, but I have this feeling that it'll take a while to hypothetically implement.
"All I wish is to see the world burn."
-The Great Uniter and Beast of the DGES
(By the way, the DGES is a servant to DEAREST LEADER of Psychotic Dictatorships.)
Just your typical guy who wants to have fun. Don't take this nation seriously,
ever.
I DO NOT use NS stats!
Keshiland literally wrote:I would give it a no. A country that lies about how free, or how great, or how humanitarian it is can never be developed. Example, NK lies and says they are democratic and are not, the US lies and says we are free yet we incarcerate millions for a medical plant. See we are basically a larger more populated North Korea.

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Doge Land
Envoy
 
Posts: 276
Founded: Feb 15, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Doge Land » Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:57 pm

Comfed wrote:
Doge Land wrote:Okay, let me see... so, we're taking cards and untying it from issues, and then reconnecting it with a shitty april fools game (No offense to the devs, but it wasn't really that good)?

I don't see a solution here. Sure, it might remove the necessity for card farms, and then this entire solution gets nuked once that guy asks for a private command to do these best nation answers. Also, it's really primitive but couldn't you just setup a bunch of containers and bypass the throttle as suggested by Python?

Also im gonna be honest this screams "I don't want to setup Got Issues and let it run in the background for an hour, so I'm going to ruin it for everyone else."

Now I might support this if it wasn't tied to the lazy april fools game. I'm gonna be honest, the only good thing to come out of that event was potential designs for S3 cards. Maybe this could be tied to something else; I remember there was one suggestion from I think it was the cards discord server where someone said you have a chance of getting a pack of cards when you open a NS page. Now that would get rid of puppets.

And who cares if S3 is flooded with puppets? So is S2. That's why we have pull events, and giveaways, and card lotteries. Participate in one of those!

Running puppets is a massive headache, especially for people with a slow computer. And s3 being filled with puppets ruins the value of the cards as nice to look at. "Oh look, here's my collection of Card farmer 22, card farmer 55, card farmer 66... yay..."


Collecting numbered nations are kind of cool. Gives me a feeling of success once I finally finish a collection. Also, I mean, nobody told you that you had to participate in large-scale card farming- I mean, I have a computer that could probably handle it but I still keep my card farm at around 20 puppets.

Maybe we could create a rarity for nations that have barely any stat badges (usually what puppets are), like if you have less than 4 stat badges then you get the "trash" rarity and the JV and base MV are 0.00.
fern man doge land
the rando that will poke you with a stick
somple tex

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